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Ira on the Fixx

Ira on the Fixx
September 14, 2023 02:03PM
For whatever reason, after hearing the guitar lick from "Saved By Zero" as bumper music on NPR a number of times, I decided I wanted to go back and (intentionally) listen to the Fixx again today for the first time in decades. So I'm three songs into "Reach The Beach" right now and it's basically as I remember.

But I did want to take a look at the TP reviews to see if I was alone in my general indifference to the Fixx. I see now that Ira at least has my back:

Although they sound like a dozen other pretentious synth-heavy atmospheric English dance bands of the early ’80s, London’s Fixx (originally the Fix), aided immeasurably for a time by producer Rupert Hine’s ability to sculpt their mundane songs and uncover marginal tense appeal, have managed to become enormously successful, regularly drawing a couple of irritating hits from each album. Shuttered Room offers “Red Skies” and “Stand or Fall”; Reach the Beach contains “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Saved by Zero”; Phantoms has “Are We Ourselves?” Showing remarkable consistency, they are all equally unpleasant and trivial. (Not too surprisingly, the Fixx’s American success has been met by nearly total UK indifference.)

I feel like there's another thread on here somewhere about the funniest or most acerbic TP reviews. This one made me laugh out loud.
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Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 14, 2023 02:20PM
And now actually listening to "Saved By Zero" for the first time in decades, I realize that the NPR riff I've been hearing is not from that song. Turns out it's from "Stand or Fall."
Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 14, 2023 05:12PM
I still love "Red Skies," "Stand Or Fall," and "Saved by Zero," but "One Thing Leads to Another" has always annoyed me, perhaps because it was so overplayed. But then so was "Every Breath You Take," and I still like that song, too.
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Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 14, 2023 05:20PM
"Ira on the Fixx," incidentally, reminds me of Jook Savages on the Brazos. It sounds like a lost Paisley Underground album.
Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 14, 2023 06:04PM
I will have to go back and check, but I believe Jon Young had a more favorable opinion of the Fixx's first couple of albums in the Hit & Run column in TP. I think maybe he called them "Ultravox without starch." Pretty sure he called somebody that, anyhow, and I think it was the Fixx, though it might've been Huang Chung. It was intended as a compliment, whoever it was. EDIT: It's in the November 82 issue, Go-Gos cover. Young's short review of the first Fixx album ends "Ultravox without starch? Japan with heart? Charming, regardless."

I never minded hearing any of their songs on the radio, but never felt compelled to buy their albums.

A friend of mine in college once bumped into the Fixx at the Stuckey's in Altamont, Illinois. Guess they pulled the tour van in to grab some pecan rolls and milkshakes.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2023 06:42PM by breno.
Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 15, 2023 06:57AM
I'm a nominal fan, but Saved By Zero is a classic. The video for the song really sparked something in me, it appealed to my creative disposition with the atmospherics and tortured artist narrative. I read somewhere that the video was their first big production, where MCA actually opened the vaults and splurged on a professional director, hair stylists, masseuses and other amenities.

Interpretations of the song and video vary, but I always viewed it as an anti-materialistic meditation (Curnin was morphing into a Buddhist during the album's recording) and reminds me I don't need to keep up with my neighbors and their 4-door pick-up trucks.

Btw, the best version of Stand Or Fall (imo) is the live version available on their first greatest hits album and a few 80's compilations, the studio recording sounds stifled; the live version brings out the emotion of living in the Cold War era of that period.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2023 06:59AM by Fleeingbandit.
Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 15, 2023 09:01AM
Not a huge fan, but I like a number of their songs. Always hated "One Thing Leads To Another" though. Found that one very annoying.

I thought I told this story here before, but I searched the forum and couldn't find it, so here it goes...A number of years ago, I was in St. Augustine, FL walking around the downtown touristy area with my wife. While waiting for her to do something, I saw a homeless guy sitting on the curb playing a recorder. I threw a dollar in his cup, and he looked up and said "Thanks! That was a song called 'Secret Separation' by The Fixx." I asked him if he knew "Less Cities, More Moving People," and he did not. But he did know "Stand or Fall" and proceeded to play it. When he was finished he said he wanted to learn "Less Cities..." and went on to describe the song and the intro synth part. Then he started talking about how the Fixx's music was all about trying to free people caught up in mind-controlling religious cults. That was my cue to exit, which coincided with my wife coming back.

What a fascinating and unexpected conversation. When I got back home after the trip, I searched the web for any evidence of the cult stuff regarding The Fixx's music (maybe there was one song vaguely along those lines?), but I couldn't find any.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2023 11:21AM by zoo.
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Re: Ira on the Fixx
September 16, 2023 02:16AM
I did see the Fixx a couple of times -- opening for A Flock of Seagulls at Red Rocks, and a couple years later, headlining at a theatre in Colorado Springs. They sounded great, and they definitely weren't phoning it in ... but between songs, Cy Curnin had no shortage of nitwit things to say to the audience. The one that made me want to get up and leave was, "I still can't get over the fact that nobody ever asked me if I wanted to be born."
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